Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Cloud9’s Jeong “Impact” Eon-young (in Korean and translated to English) after C9’s season-opening 2-0 win against Team SoloMid on Friday night in the League of Legends Championship Series.
Andrew Kim: Congrats on the win for your first game. How do you feel?
Jeong “Impact” Eon-young: It feels good because this is the first time we took down TSM in a 2-0, especially so because I thought it’d be a 2-1 even if we did win. But the team played really well so I think we had an easy time winning.
AK: Your game management looked markedly better, with the new jungler Contractz (Juan Garcia) looking impressive. Did he show the same performance in practice matches?
JEY: I actually think it’s the opposite. He gambles quite often with his plays and is very aggressive. He did make some mistakes today, but thanks to his aggressiveness, we were able to pull ahead and snowball off of that. The reason we’ve gotten better in team play is because we’ve been thinking more about the team rather than ourselves, which makes us think more than usual, which worked out for us.
AK: The 2017 NA LCS has a lot of Korean talent in the top lane such as Looper (Jang Hyeong-seok) and Ssumday (Kim Chan-ho), two players who are well known for their play. What did you think as they were confirmed to compete in NA?
JEY: I think that they’re going to have a rough time earlier on. I think they’ll lose quite a bit because communication will be an issue and shot calls will be difficult without English skills. They need a lot of time, but if they get that they should be fine. I don’t mind who I go up against.
AK: Based on your experience, how long do you think it takes for Korean players to really perform their best in NA?
JEY: I think it depends on how much English you learn. In Huni’s (Heo Seung-hoon) case, he really worked hard to learn English, and he did very well that season, also given his positive personality. It also depends on the team to some extent as well. I think they’ll need about a year.
AK: Do you mean even if they lose earlier on due to communication issues, they shouldn’t think about it too much and look more long term?
JEY: I don’t think they need to care even if they lose often after one year.
AK: You’ve been taping your wrists on camera, and some fans are concerned for your well-being in the future, given your long career. Are you affected by the injury a lot?
JEY: It’s better than before. It still kind of hurts, though, and it hurt after we were done playing. But this will get better in time, since I’m working out as well. The people who retire due to wrist complications are usually because they didn’t take preventative measures or exercise to treat it. If you can take some preventative measures instead of jumping into surgery, it’ll be fine. If there are any players reading this interview, I hope they take some more time taking care of their wrists.
AK: How did you find out about your wrist injury?
JEY: There are times when it hurts sometimes rather than all the time. That’s when it’s at its beginning stages. You need to watch out for that. When I was on SKT, it would hurt when I raised my arm. The muscles are all connected, so when my shoulder hurt, I usually thought it’d get better in the morning, and it doesn’t hurt, but it all stacked up and when it got to my wrist, it really hurt.
AK: You said you exercise to take care of your wrist?
JEY: Wrist exercises and I put on a wrist support made for sleep, and it keeps it still. It really helps if you do that.
AK: It’s been a couple of years since you made your debut in NA. In the past two years, did you learn anything? Did your mindset change?
JEY: I learned a lot of things because I moved to NA, since I started to feel like I need to play a more active role as I moved here, and like I needed to make something for myself. With those things coming together, it added to my play as well and allowed me to make team-centric plays. I think I got better with time. I think it was better for me to come to NA.
AK: The 2017 top meta is a tank meta, as AD Carries have been toned down and junglers have become more significant. Do you find the new meta fitting yourself?
JEY: When I was on SKT, I think I wasn’t that good at playing damage dealing champions in the top lane. Nowadays I practice more, I have a clearer idea of what I need to play, and I can focus more on my laning, so now I don’t really care if I play tank or dealer. I think I can play anything, but tanking is a bit more comfortable since I can make things happen without having to call the jungler over. But if the dealers come back into the meta, that’s what I’ll play. I’m just a bit more comfortable with tanks.
AK: You said earlier that you’re happy that you made it to NA. After winning the world championship, I’m sure you got offers from teams from Europe, China, and NA. What was the process like?
JEY: When I won the world championship, it was in NA. As I played here I thought, “This is a great place to live.” The food was good, and it left a good impression on me.
AK: I’m sure a lot of other teams gave offers to you that weren’t Cloud 9.
JEY: It was kinda weird because they bought me from NRG. I don’t think the other teams knew that was going to happen.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games